The third edition of the East African Community (EAC) arts and culture festival kicked off officially on Sunday in Kampala.
Dubbed Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni Festival (Jamafest), the fete is aimed at promoting regional socio-cultural integration.
"There is nothing as powerful as using arts and our talents to tell the East African story. Jamafest informs us that we a people with a common destiny and common aspirations," Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said at the official opening ceremony.
Mr Rugunda urged the use of arts to enhance unity and for job creation especially since more than 60 per cent of the EAC population is made up of youth.
Jamafest will run upto Friday and will showcase cultural talents, artefacts and a market place for traditional products.
The events include musical performances, theatre, literary works, poetry and storytelling, fashion shows, culinary and art exhibitions, among others.
"It is really exciting! I had never seen a Burundi dance. The energy they put in when dancing is really nice to watch," said Ruth Anyeko, a spectator at the street carnival in Kampala told The EastAfrican.
Jamafest is held every two years in one of the EAC member states on a rotational basis. The 2013 and 2015 editions were hosted by Rwanda and Kenya respectively.